Friday, March 18, 2016

It’s time to revisit income trusts while avoiding their worst excesses



Saturday, January 30, 2016

The latest joke from the CBC





What a joke! The CBC has set up a website where sources can post anonymous tips about wrongdoing in the belief that the CBC will actually pursue these stories.

Any belief on the part of Canadians that the CBC would actively pursue wrongdoing is totally misplaced, as evidenced by the CBC's complete unwillingness to pursue Harper's $35 billion income trust fraud.

The CBC was repeatedly asked by Canadians across the country to investigate this matter, but instead CBC actively suppressed this news story and the falsehood's behind Harper's tax leakage arguments, as blogged about here:

CBC’s active suppression of the news

CBC has flushed income trust taxpayers down their toilet

Blown off by Don Newman

CBC’s pretense of soliciting questions from Canadians for Stephen Harper

This is  grossly irresponsible on the part of the CBC

Hey, doesn't CBC's Amanda Lang's husband work for Peter Munk?

etc. etc.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Now that the Liberals are in power, this should be a no-brainer

March-03-08
  
For Immediate Release
February 29, 2008
 
Liberal Finance Committee Members call on Auditor General to Examine Government’s Claims of Income Trust Tax Leakage
 
OTTAWA – Liberal Members of the Standing Committee on Finance today called on the Auditor General to investigate the tax leakage claims that the government used as the basis for its October 31, 2006, decision to tax income trusts. 
 
“I think that this government’s stonewalling has gone on long enough and it’s time that Canadians got to see that the Government simply made up its story that income trusts cause federal tax leakage,” said Liberal Finance Critic John McCallum. 
 
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to Canadians that he would never tax income trusts.  Then he went back on his word, costing Canadians billions overnight and in the wake of his silence on the issue we feel that only the Auditor General can shine some light into this matter.”
 
All four Liberal Members of the Finance Committee signed a letter to Auditor General Sheila Fraser asking her to investigate the matter, particularly the government’s unproven allegations about income trusts causing tax leakage.
 
“This has clearly become much more than just another instance of the government not doing its homework before acting.  It has become a full-blown scandal and cover-up,” said John McKay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Guildwood.  “We have tried virtually every tool at our disposal to get the government to show us how they came to their conclusions about tax leakage and the Auditor General may be Canadians’ last resort.”
 
An Access to Information request asking for the Department of Finance’s assumptions, data and methodology resulted in the release of only 23 pages of documents that are almost entirely blacked out.
 
A direct request from the Finance Committee to see the data was met with two thick binders of superfluous information that did not contain the data or methodology originally requested.
 
A written question was placed on the Order Paper asking the government to recalculate its estimate of tax leakage using the 15 per cent federal corporate tax rate that will actually be in effect in 2012, the year after the income trust tax begins, as opposed to the 21 per cent tax rate that was in effect at the time of the announcement.  The government’s response to the question indicated that that this would be a hypothetical calculation and therefore impossible to do.
 
“That’s not a hypothetical, that’s what the federal tax rate will be,” said Garth Turner, Member of Parliament for Halton.  “If the government can’t manage to run the new 2012 corporate tax rate through their calculators then I have no reason to believe they ran the old one through their calculators in October of 2006.”
 
In 2006, Stephen Harper ran on a campaign commitment to never tax income trusts.  The Conservative election platform characterized any attempt to impose such a tax as, “An attack on retirement savings.”
 
“That election commitment was obviously a falsehood. Unfortunately the voters who believed it and invested even more money in income trusts lost a significant portion of their nest eggs,” said Massimo Pacetti, Member of Parliament for MP for Saint-LĂ©onard—Saint-Michel. 
 
“Even today, 15 months after they broke their election promise, Members of Parliament still hear from the thousands of Canadians whose retirement plans were shattered by this deception. Liberal Members of Parliament continue to stand up for them.”
 
 
-30-
 
The full text of the letter sent to the Auditor General is attached.
 
To see the government response to written question 149 on the Order Paper please visit: www.liberal.ca/pdf/docs/080229_Q-149_en.pdf

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Harper's faded economic vision for Canada



Pretty much sums it up.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mr. Tory - tear down this wall

John Allemang wrote an interesting piece in today's Globe concerning the decision facing Toronto council about whether to spend another $1 billion to perpetuate the bad idea known as the Gardiner extension or do something more progressive than repeating past mistakes.

That article is entitled: Beneath the Gardiner, a soul-destroying wasteland lurks  to which I posed the following comment:

Well put John Allemang, and from an interesting perspective, that of the pedestrian.

Any decision concerning this portion of the Gardiner needs to be made, not in isolation, but in the broader context of what's to be done with the entirety of the Gardiner. $1 billion is no trifling sum of money that Toronto taxpayers will be spending. This decision also needs to be made in the broader Toronto interests, rather than the more narrow interests who are calling for a preservation of the status quo (at a cost of $1 billion).

I think everyone agrees that the Gardiner is an idea that did not realize on its original 1950's promise, and is not something that any urban planner would recommend today. That said, how can it possible be considered a good idea to simply perpetuate a bad idea, by preserving  the Gardiner at a cost of 41 billion?

Tory's hybrid idea sounds more like a campaign to mask all of the obvious ills of the Gardiner, with some token gestures of making what's bad feel less bad, much like the exercise of putting lipstick on a pig.

Fixing what's wrong with the Gardiner won't be cheap, but rather than throwing $1 billion to perpetuate the bad idea known as the Gardiner, how about spending some real money and coming up with a real solution, such as the tunnel that is being proposed? Toronto and Torontonians deserve real solutions and not band aid solutions as the incremental cost, as between the two, will prove itself money well spent over the short, immediate and long term and won't be a decision that future generations will be second guessing, as we are now doing with the Gardiner.

Maybe we could call it the Tory Tunnel as that might appeal to the Mayor's ego and might get him to think straight on this major decision that he's presently headed down the wrong direction on.
Well put John Allemang, and from an interesting perspective, that of the pedestrian.

Any decision concerning this portion of the Gardiner needs to me made, not in isolation, but in the broader context of what's to be done with the entirety of the Gardiner. $1 billion is no trifling sum of money that Toronto taxpayers will be spending. This decision also needs to be made in the context of the broader Toronto interests, rather than the more narrow interests who are calling for a preservation of the status quo (at a cost of $1 billion).

I think everyone agrees that the Gardiner is an idea that did not realize on its original 1950's promise, and is not something any urban planner would recommend today. That said, how can it possibly be considered a good idea to simply perpetuate a bad idea, by preserving the Gardiner at a cost of $1 billion, as people like John Tory are proposing?

Tory's hybrid idea sounds more like a campaign to mask all the obvious ills of the Gardiner with some token gestures of making what's bad feel less bad, much like the exercise of putting lipstick on a pig.

Fixing what's wrong with the Gardiner won't be cheap, but rather than throwing $1 billion to perpetuate the bad idea known as the Gardiner, how about spending some real money and come up with a real solution, such as the tunnel that is being proposed? Toronto and Torontonians deserve real solutions and not band aid solution, as the incremental cost, as between the two, will prove itself money well spent over the short, immediate and long term and won't be a decision that future generations will be second guessing, as we are now doing with the Gardiner.

Maybe we could call it the Tory Tunnel as that might appeal to the Mayor's ego and might get him to think straight on this major decision that he's presently headed down the wrong direction on.


Well put John Allemang, and from an interesting perspective, that of the pedestrian.

Any decision concerning this portion of the Gardiner needs to me made, not in isolation, but in the broader context of what's to be done with the entirety of the Gardiner. $1 billion is no trifling sum of money that Toronto taxpayers will be spending. This decision also needs to be made in the context of the broader Toronto interests, rather than the more narrow interests who are calling for a preservation of the status quo (at a cost of $1 billion).

I think everyone agrees that the Gardiner is an idea that did not realize on its original 1950's promise, and is not something any urban planner would recommend today. That said, how can it possibly be considered a good idea to simply perpetuate a bad idea, by preserving the Gardiner at a cost of $1 billion, as people like John Tory are proposing?

Tory's hybrid idea sounds more like a campaign to mask all the obvious ills of the Gardiner with some token gestures of making what's bad feel less bad, much like the exercise of putting lipstick on a pig.

Fixing what's wrong with the Gardiner won't be cheap, but rather than throwing $1 billion to perpetuate the bad idea known as the Gardiner, how about spending some real money and come up with a real solution, such as the tunnel that is being proposed? Toronto and Torontonians deserve real solutions and not band aid solution, as the incremental cost, as between the two, will prove itself money well spent over the short, immediate and long term and won't be a decision that future generations will be second guessing, as we are now doing with the Gardiner.

Maybe we could call it the Tory Tunnel as that might appeal to the Mayor's ego and might get him to think straight on this major decision that he's presently headed down the wrong direction on.


Well put John Allemang, and from an interesting perspective, that of the pedestrian.

Any decision concerning this portion of the Gardiner needs to me made, not in isolation, but in the broader context of what's to be done with the entirety of the Gardiner. $1 billion is no trifling sum of money that Toronto taxpayers will be spending. This decision also needs to be made in the context of the broader Toronto interests, rather than the more narrow interests who are calling for a preservation of the status quo (at a cost of $1 billion).

I think everyone agrees that the Gardiner is an idea that did not realize on its original 1950's promise, and is not something any urban planner would recommend today. That said, how can it possibly be considered a good idea to simply perpetuate a bad idea, by preserving the Gardiner at a cost of $1 billion, as people like John Tory are proposing?

Tory's hybrid idea sounds more like a campaign to mask all the obvious ills of the Gardiner with some token gestures of making what's bad feel less bad, much like the exercise of putting lipstick on a pig.

Fixing what's wrong with the Gardiner won't be cheap, but rather than throwing $1 billion to perpetuate the bad idea known as the Gardiner, how about spending some real money and come up with a real solution, such as the tunnel that is being proposed? Toronto and Torontonians deserve real solutions and not band aid solution, as the incremental cost, as between the two, will prove itself money well spent over the short, immediate and long term and won't be a decision that future generations will be second guessing, as we are now doing with the Gardiner.

Maybe we could call it the Tory Tunnel as that might appeal to the Mayor's ego and might get him to think straight on this major decision that he's presently headed down the wrong direction on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Don't fire Evan Solomon, reassign him as CMO of the CBC

Quite interesting that the CBC, as an organization, is struggling with how to monetize its service, while enterprising folks like Amanda Lang and Evan Solomon figured that out a long time ago, albeit  leveraging off their CBC gigs for personal gain.

Maybe Evan should be reassigned to Chief Monetization Officer of the CBC instead of fired? That way he could employ his true talent for leveraging off the CBC brand and generating money for the cash strapped organization, in the same way he did for his own self, by brokering art deals and using his guest list at Power and Politics as a "prospect list".

Amanda, on the other hand, should simply be fired, as she is beyond reprieve or useful purpose.

Unfortunately what neither Amanda Lang or Evan Solomon realize is that whatever power they think they possess, it's very fleeting and actually not even theirs to begin with.
People like Amanda Lang and Evan Solomon got easily seduced into thinking they possess the power they employ, when in fact that power derives from their employer, namely the CBC.  Management of the CBC, on the other hand, seem to think the power resides with their on-air personalities, which is why these scandals are perpetuated in the CBC rather than dealt with.

Management of the CBC has created a culture where these kinds of abuses have been allowed to flourish, and management are the main culprit, which is not to absolve folks like Amanda and Evan, who simply opportunistically exploited a weak system, as greed driven persons are want to do.
David Brooks of the New York Times often makes this very point when he appears on PBS Newshour every Friday saying things like "I doubt whether much of what I have to say would be of much relevance if it weren't for the fact that I write for the New York Times."

Time for the media "personalities" at the CBC along with management of the CBC to awaken to that reality as well.

Evan Solomon: Latest entrant to Canadian Journalists' Hall of Shame

Canadian journalists have their Canadian journalists awards, that are awarded annually for excellence in journalism, whereas it seems the Canadian Journalists' Hall of Shame, awarded for excesses as a  journalist, requires daily updates. It currently reads:

Canadian Journalists' Hall of Shame

Evan Solomon of CBC
Amanda Lang  of CBC
Mike Duffy of CTV
Peter Mansbridge  of CBC
Leslie Roberts of Global News
Jian Ghomeshi  of CBC
Pamela Wallin  of CTV